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The Block NZ House 4: Jo & Damo

These newlyweds have created a serene and earthy environment.

The couple

Getting hitched in December is just one of many good decisions this Feilding couple have made. Applying to go on The Block NZ, despite their limited renovation experience, was another. “We’re on the same page,” says Damo, 36, a former cop turned electrician apprentice. “We both come up with ideas.” It helps that Jo, 34, has an eye for design. Having worked as a children’s clothing designer, she’s now developing a homeware brand.
“It’s been amazing learning everything,” she says. “It’s a massive step up for us.” They love to mix vintage pieces with modern and industrial looks.

The big picture

Jo and Damo won first pick of the houses, and they chose this one for its privacy.
“It’s the only one on The Block NZ that’s north facing so it gets heaps of sun,” says Damo. “And the indoor-outdoor flow is awesome, it’s not boxed in on the section.” Wood panels and pale concrete create a retreat-type feel. “We wanted visitors to walk in and feel instantly relaxed,” says Jo. “It’s a beautiful sanctuary with really open living areas and a nice flow.” The couple also wanted to ensure it would appeal to a broad market. So there’s nothing too risky, says Damo, whose dairy farm upbringing influenced their desire for serenity and space.

The finishing touches

The grand rimu posts Jo and Damo put in early set the tone for the rest of their house. So it made sense to use colours and accessories that felt earthy and natural. “They were the biggest risk because when you walk in, they’re the first thing you see,” says Damo. Although they have no regrets, the couple wish they’d had more time to get a feel for their surroundings. “If you’re renovating and you have the time,” says Damo, “give it at least six months to figure out what you like about your house before tearing into it.”


Words by: Rebecca Barry Hill
Photography by: Scott McAulay
Interior Designer: Jo & Damo